GENENTECH's ACTIVASE ACCEPTED BY 50% OF HOSPITAL FORMULARIES AT END OF 1987, HRA SURVEY SHOWS; MILES' ORAL QUINOLONE CIPRO LISTED BY 42%
Genentech's Activase (TPA) was accepted by 50% of hospital formularies after two months on the market, according to a monthly survey of approximately 200 hospitals by Fairfield, New Jersey-based Hospital Research Associates (HRA). In a Feb. 5 release announcing the results of its survey through December, HRA reported that Activase "has demonstrated remarkable activity achieving a 50% formulary acceptance rate after two months on the market. No other product in the five year history of the audit has achieved this level of penetration in as short a period of time." Approved on Nov. 13, Activase was accepted by formularies in 18% of the hospitals by the end of November and by an additional 32% of hospitals in December. HRA's report notes that despite the high formulary acceptance rates for Activase, "about half of all hospitals accepting TPA on their formularies have restricted its use, generally due to the product's cost." For example, of the 72 surveyed hospital formularies which accepted the thrombolytic in December, 25 placed it on restricted use -- 15 because of its cost. Eight of the 25 hospitals placing TPA on restricted use cited "adverse reactions exceed norm" as the reason. The survey data show that only one hospital that considered Activase declined to add the thrombolytic to its formulary list. Seventeen hospitals, three in November and 14 in December, tabled action on Activase for a future formulary committee meeting. At a Hambrecht & Quist healthcare conference in January, Genentech said that over 3,000 hospitals in the U.S., which handle over 85% of the heart attack cases in the country, currently stock Activase ("The Pink Sheet" Jan. 18, p. 4). Miles Cipro (ciprofloxacin), approved Oct. 22 and launched at the beginning of November, also achieved a high formulary penetration, with 42% of the surveyed hospitals accepting the broad-spectrum oral quinolone antibiotic after two months of marketing. Merck's anticholesterol agent Mevacor (lovastatin), approved Sept. 1, has been accepted by 43.5% of the hospitals after three months of marketing, according to the survey. Other new products with high formulary acceptance rates include: Pfizer's Unasyn, with 37% of hospitals listing the drug after three months of marketing; Bristol-Myers' Enkaid (encainide), with 64.6% of hospitals listing after nine months marketing; and Squibb's Azactam (aztreonam) antibiotic, accepted by 46.6% of hospitals after nine months marketing.
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